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Treat Yourself To Some Assamese Fish Eggs With A Twist

Treat Yourself To Some Assamese Fish Eggs With A Twist
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brinjal Make the most of fish eggs or roe during monsoon. Photo: Gitika Saikia

In Assam, we have a saying ‘maas’or telotey maas bhoja’ meaning ‘cook fish in its own oil’.

Fish is supposed to release oil while cooking and when intestines are added, it automatically releases a considerable amount of aromatic oil or rather fat. Therefore, we reduce the amount of oil to prepare any fish recipe.

To be honest, fish is my favourite and I long for monsoons when fresh fish eggs and intestines are packed in a separate bag by fishermen as it is always cooked separately.

Be it stir fry or batter fried or curried, we three siblings can wipe off a plateful of eggs on any given day.

And then, I shifted to Mumbai 18 years ago for studies, career and eventually got married to my better half from Assam - but my love for fish eggs never ceased!

The first few years of my life in Mumbai went in finding fresh water fish, and by the time I discovered a vendor, it was time to shift to another house with bags and baggage, but my search continued.

The better half is a non-vegetarian, but has selective taste-buds. He doesn’t enjoy eating fish eggs or intestines or too much fish for that matter.

So, there is no fun eating these dishes without an equally spirited partner. But, I continue cooking and eating when my friends drop by and at times I invite them to intentionally, rather shamelessly.

Finally when I started doing Assamese food pop-ups in Mumbai, my hopes of reminiscing memories looked no longer a distant dream.

One fine day, I chanced upon cooking it in a different way – with brinjal. Yes, of all vegetables!

Recipe for Maas’or Koni aru Bengena or Fish Eggs with Brinjal

Ingredients:

Fish eggs and intestines - 250 gms

Long brinjals - 3

Green Chili - 5 chopped

Onion - 1 chopped

Salt and turmeric

Oil

Method:

1. Heat oil in a kadhai.

2. Fry onions and green chilies. Add chopped brinjal, intestines, salt and turmeric.

3. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.

4. Now add fish eggs and break it into small pieces with your ladle.

5. Cover it and cook for another 15 – 20 minutes.

6. The dish is ready to be relished with a plate of plain rice and plain masur dal.

Notes: Cook roe while it is available or wait until the next monsoon.

Follow Gitika on Twitter @gitikasaikia

Gitika Saikia

Gitika Saikia

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